Getting prepared for and after the race

Run Jericho brings together participants who have different goals and experience, so read below for some handy guides on training before the race, and some tips on post-race recovery.


Sunday 9th June 2024


St Barnabas Primary School

Hart Street, Oxford





8am Check-in opens

9.15am 1-mile fun run

9.55am 5k starts

10am 10k starts

Getting the right nutrients and keeping hydrated

Two to three days before

Have you thought about a pre-race meal? You should start preparing your body for the race and eating plenty of carbohydrates two or three days before. “Carb-loading” won’t make you run faster, but it will allow you to run your best. Eat modest portions of high-protein with your carbs and don’t forget to keep hydrated.

Good sources of carbs and protein:

  • Pasta
  • Brown rice and quinoa
  • Potatoes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Peanut butter
  • Butternut squash
  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • White bread
  • Chickpeas
  • Dry fruit
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Chicken

The night before

Your dinner the night before the race should be relatively small but packed full of carbs. Try to eat earlier in the evening, as you want to wake up on race day hungry and not full from the night before. And make sure you are well hydrated (avoid alcohol).

Race day breakfast – 2-3 hours before the race

Have your high-carb breakfast 2-3 hours before the race, but don’t stuff yourself! This breakfast is to help top up your stored energy as you have, of course, been carb-loading 2/3 days before! Limit or avoid fat and fibre, as your body has to slow down to turn fat into energy.

If you tend to feel queasy on race morning, try liquid carbs such as smoothies, juices, and sports drinks.


Your race diet shouldn’t stop at the finish line. Try to eat 30-60 minutes after crossing the finish line and make sure you eat plenty of carbs and protein to help your muscle recover. Don’t forget to rehydrate, our brains can sometimes mislead us into thinking of dehydration as hunger.

We wouldn’t want to discourage you from celebrating your achievement with a well-deserved drink, but wait for a couple of hours after a race, and after you are re-hydrated!

Is this your first 10K race?

Make sure to warm up before, and warm down after each run to help avoid injuries. Before your run, spend 10 to 15 minutes performing dynamic stretches, and after your run perform static stretches.

If you are training for your first-ever race:

  • Start little (just run and walk for a few minutes 2-3 times a week) and build up to running for 15-20 minutes
  • Run at your own pace and stop when you need to without the stress of making a particular distance
  • Rest between runs
  • As you gain experience build in training goals:
    • Practise sustaining a pace that feels comfortable to you
    • Introduce intervals into your runs to add variety and increase strength.

Attempt to do one long run every week, and consider running a distance that is a little longer than the race to make it less daunting on the day. Do not worry about your pace on these long runs … this is practice for your legs to become familiar with the distance.

Don’t feel guilty if you need easy run days, or if you need to rest due to a niggle, listen to your body!

Finally, if you need a pre-defined plan, try couch to 5K, Need we say more?

Get your children running

Set up your child for success

Create a personal chart for your child:

  • Determine manageable goals with your child, finishing on an end goal of running 1 mile
  • After each goal, ask them to rate (using an emoticon scale) the following:
    • How they felt about the distance
    • How strong they felt
  • Chart the progress over time, so they have a sense of commitment and can see their progression
  • Don’t have a fitness watch? Not to worry, teach your child how to measure their heart rate and add the results to each goal. They will see how their heart rate changes the quicker or further they run
  • At the end of each goal achieved, celebrate and congratulate them on achieving it

Why not train together, and create a personal chart for you to compare?

Don’t rush to complete the final 1-mile goal, modulate your running effort … there is nothing wrong with walking when things get challenging!

Run with friends … and pets

If your child’s friends are also participating in Run Jericho or a similar event, or simply enjoy running, then run together as a group. This will make the time more fun and engaging and also will help to spur each other on.

Do you own a dog and does your child take it for walks with you? They can run instead of walking.

Run with good form and breathing

The NHS has some fantastic information on how to run with good form and breathe rhythmically to improve performance and reduce injury risk. Teaching children to run with good form from an early age will develop good habits that will keep them in good stead in years to come.

Build in games for added fun

  • Does your child play Pokémon Go? Create a route around your neighbourhood that goes past several poké stops, and see how many they can spin in a certain time
  • How about running in pyjamas, or their favourite dressing-up costume?
  • Running in the evening with a torch is fun
  • Create a scavenger hunt of local landmarks to “collect” while running
  • Play Simon Says, with challenges along the way

Making running fun will help reduce their apprehension, and your children will more likely want to do it.

Add variety to your routes

Running the same route over and over can become uninspiring. Why not change your route from time to time; across Port Meadow, down the canal, around the University Parks, or further afield in Wytham Woods?

Need to go to your local shop?

Why not make your food shop an opportunity to add a little more running into your child’s day? Perhaps adding a small detour to increase the distance, aiming for 1 mile.

Dress to run

We know that children grow out of clothes and shoes fast, particularly at primary school age. But to reduce risk of injury and to make running more enjoyable, we do recommend purchasing a sensible pair of running trainers and good running socks (to avoid blisters). Uncomfortable and poor fitting trainers will soon put your child off running, particularly over longer distances.

Donating to St Barnabas

By signing up to run in Run Jericho you have already supported St Barnabas Primary School. Thank you! Should you wish to donate additional funds for St Barnabas, please go to our donation page.